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United States v. Cain

United States District Court, D. Maine

June 1, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DONALD CAIN Defendant

          DETENTION ORDER ON MOTION TO REVOKE BAIL

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The Court rejects a defendant's contentions that the Rules of Evidence and the Confrontation Clause must apply to a bail revocation hearing for a defendant who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting a sentencing hearing, concludes that his arguments are without merit, and orders the defendant detained pending the imposition of sentence.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         On January 9, 2018, Donald Cain pleaded guilty to one count of stalking, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2)(B). Min. Entry (ECF No. 153) (Rule 11 Hearing); Indictment (ECF No. 56). The prosecution version of the offense, which Mr. Cain admitted was true at his Rule 11 hearing, reflects that from November 27, 2014 until December 27, 2015, Mr. Cain engaged in a campaign of harassment against his then wife, L.H. Prosecution Version (ECF No. 145). Mr. Cain's harassment included threats to kill his ex-wife's mother, hundreds of telephone calls and text messages, threats to kill his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, threats to send videotapes of L.H. having consensual sex to members of L.H.'s family, threats to rape L.H.'s daughter, all in vile and violent language. Id. at 1-5. After pleading guilty, the Court released Mr. Cain pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143, in part because Mr. Cain was gainfully employed out of state and wished to continue employment. The Court imposed the same bail conditions previously imposed, which included no-alcohol and no-new-crimes restrictions. Rule 11 Hearing; Am. Order Setting Conditions of Release at 1-2 (ECF No. 112).

         On April 20, 2018, at 2122 hours, a Trooper with the Department of Public Safety in Nevada observed a black Chevy pickup truck overtake his cruiser on I-95 at a high rate of speed. NHP Police Report at 3. The Trooper calculated the vehicle's speed at eighty-nine miles per hour in a sixty-five-mile-per-hour zone. Id. The driver, later identified as the Defendant, failed to maintain his lane of travel, crossing over both the right and left lane lines and into adjacent lanes. Id. Upon stopping the vehicle, Mr. Cain produced a Maine license and denied drinking alcohol that evening. Id. The Trooper noticed that Mr. Cain had slow slurred speech and the odor of alcohol emanated from his vehicle. Id.

         The Trooper put Mr. Cain through some field sobriety tests. Id. at 4. Mr. Cain failed a number of them. Id. After Mr. Cain refused a breath test, the Trooper transported him to the Las Vegas detention center and obtained a warrant to take a blood test. Id. at 5. The blood samples for testing were taken at 2354 and 0052 hours on April 19 and April 20, 2018 respectively. Id. Mr. Cain was cited for driving twenty-one miles per hour over the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to drive within marked lanes, expired registration, and lack of proof of insurance, all violations of Nevada state law. Id. at 2, 12.

         B. Procedural Background

         On December 23, 2015, a federal criminal complaint was issued against Donald L. Cain, charging him with two counts of harassing telephone calls in interstate communications, violations of 47 U.S.C. § 223(a)(1)(E). Compl. (ECF NO. 3). On August 9, 2016, a grand jury indicted Mr. Cain for one count of stalking, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A(2)(B), and two counts of transmitting threatening communications in interstate commerce, violations of 18 U.S.C. § 875(c). Indictment. Mr. Cain was arrested in the District of South Carolina on January 21, 2016, and on February 17, 2016, the Magistrate Judge released Mr. Cain on bail with conditions of release, including that he not commit new crimes and that he not use any alcohol. Order Setting Conditions of Release at 1-2 (ECF No. 29). The Pretrial Services Report dated February 17, 2016 revealed a 2013 Operating under the Influence conviction. Pretrial Servs. Report at 3 (ECF No. 27).

         On January 9, 2018, Mr. Cain pleaded guilty to count one, the stalking count. Rule 11 Hearing. The Court released Mr. Cain on bail under the same conditions previously imposed, including the no-alcohol and no-new-crimes conditions. Id.; Am. Order Setting Conditions of Release at 1-2. On May 8, 2018, the Court held a presentence conference, Min. Entry (ECF No. 165), and set the sentencing hearing for June 28, 2018. Notice of Hr'g (ECF No. 166).

         Meanwhile, on April 26, 2018, the Government filed an ex parte motion for the issuance of an arrest warrant. Ex Parte Mot. for Issuance of Arrest Warrant, for Revocation of Order Setting Conditions of Release, and for an Order Directing the Def.'s Detention (ECF No. 162) (Gov't's Mot. to Revoke). The basis of the motion was the allegation that Mr. Cain had violated the no-new-crimes and no-alcohol conditions of release by drinking alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol in Las Vegas, Nevada. Id. at 2. On April 26, 2018, the Magistrate Judge granted the motion for arrest warrant. Order (ECF No. 163). Also on April 26, 2018, the Government moved to revoke Mr. Cain's bail for violating the conditions of release. Gov't's Mot. to Revoke at 1-2. On May 10, 2018, the Court set the revocation hearing for May 25, 2018. Notice of Hr'g (ECF No. 167).

         On May 22, 2018, three days before the scheduled hearing, Mr. Cain moved to continue the revocation hearing on two grounds: (1) that he had not received the blood alcohol test results, and (2) that he was entitled to present a “complete defense” at the bail revocation hearing. Def.'s Mot. to Continue Hr'g on Mot. to Revoke Bail and Detention Hr'g (ECF No. 170). The Court held a telephone conference with counsel the next day. Notice of Hr'g (ECF No. 173). On May 23, 2018, the Government filed a memorandum objecting to the continuance. Gov't's Obj. to Def.'s Mot. to Continue Hr'g on Mot. to Revoke Bail and Detention Hr'g (ECF No. 172). In its objection, the Government represented that the laboratory report, reflecting that Mr. Cain's blood test had come back with a concentration of ethanol of 0.150%, had been provided to defense counsel during the evening of May 22, 2018. Id. at 2. The Government also said that the Nevada Highway Patrol was providing the Government with a disk containing the dashcam/cruiser video. Id.

         At the telephone conference, defense counsel expanded upon his claim of a right to a “complete defense” at the revocation hearing. He maintained that a bail revocation hearing requires full due process, that the Rules of Evidence must be applied, and that a defendant has a right to confront witnesses against him. Upon hearing this position, the Court ordered counsel to file memoranda by 5:00 p.m. the next day. Min. Entry (ECF No. 173). During the telephone conference, the Court referred to the case of United States v. de Castro-Font, 778 F.Supp.2d 201 (D.P.R. 2011) in which the district court concluded that the Confrontation Clause did not apply to bail revocation hearings. Both counsel complied. Def.'s Mem. in Support of Confrontation and Excluding Hearsay Evid. at the Bail Revocation Hr'g (ECF No. 174) (Def.'s Mem.); Gov't's Mem. Regarding the Admissibility of Reliable Hearsay (ECF No. 175) (Gov't's Mem.).

         C. The May 25, 2018 Bail Hearing

         Over Mr. Cain's adamant and vociferous objections, the Court allowed the Government to introduce both the police report and the blood alcohol test results from the April 19, 2018 traffic stop in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Court concluded that the police report and the blood alcohol test results were reliable evidence and therefore admissible for purposes of the bail revocation hearing. Other than District of Maine Probation Officer Laflin, who served as a foundational witness for the Nevada exhibits, no witnesses testified. Based on the admitted exhibits, the Court concluded by clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Cain had violated a condition of bail in that he had consumed alcohol on April 19, 2018. See 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(B).

         The Court based its conclusion on: (1) that Mr. Cain had been speeding approximately twenty-one miles per hour over the speed limit, (2) that he had failed to maintain his travel lane three times as the Trooper followed him; (3) that the Trooper noticed the odor of alcohol coming from Mr. Cain's vehicle; (4) that Mr. Cain's speech was slow and slurred; (5) that Mr. Cain failed the walk-and-turn test; (6) that Mr. Cain stumbled as he walked; (7) that Mr. Cain exhibited difficulty standing; (8) that Mr. Cain was unable to perform the one-leg stand test; (9) that Mr. Cain's blood alcohol result at 2354 hours on April 19, 2018 was 0.150g/100ml; and (10) that Mr. Cain's blood alcohol result at 0052 hours on April 20, 2018 was 0.139g/100ml.

         The Court did not conclude that Mr. Cain had committed a new criminal offense in violation of the bail condition that he not do so because the elements of each criminal violation and the specifics of the laws in state of Nevada had not been demonstrated. Furthermore, the absence of the dashcam video at the bail hearing was a gap in proof that the Court concluded did not allow for a finding of new criminal conduct.

         The Court remanded Mr. Cain into custody pending further order because it also determined that there was no condition or combination of conditions that would assure that Mr. Cain did not represent a danger to the safety of any other person or the community and that he was not likely to abide by any condition or combination of conditions of release. 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(2)(A), (B). The Court took into account the fact that the victim of Mr. Cain's offense resides in the state of Maine and, other than asking to be released, the absence of any concrete proposal by Mr. Cain to assuage the Court's concern about the victim's continued safety.

         D. The ...


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